Woman business owners-growing companies, growing assets | VailDaily.com

Woman business owners-growing companies, growing assets

Jeffrey Apps and Tracy Tutag

If you are a woman business owner, you are part of a growing trend. Between 1997 and 2002, the number of women-owned businesses grew by 14%–twice the rate of all firms–according to the Center for Women’s Business Research. Today, there are more than 6.2 million woman-owned businesses, employing 9.2 million people and generating $1.15 billion in sales.*Owning your own business is not always easy. Especially for start-ups, it may be difficult to find enough cash to pay your bills, much less pay yourself a regular salary. But as your business becomes established, there may be more cash available for personal and business investment. In fact, according to the Center for Women’s Business Research, nearly three-quarters (72%) of women business owners have investments in stocks, bonds or mutual funds, compared to 58% of other working women.*Business owners’ advantages in saving and investingOne of the reasons why women business owners may have more invested than those who work for someone else is because many working women don’t have pensions at all. According to the Department of Labor, only 32% of female retirees over age 55 received pension benefits, compared to 55% of men.** Since you own your own business, you can decide whether to have a retirement plan-and many of you have already done so.That’s good news, because women as a whole don’t save enough for retirement. There are numerous reasons why this is so: women make less money than men, they’re in the workforce for fewer years, and they live longer than men, so their money has to last longer.As a business owner, you have the opportunity not just to set up a retirement plan, but also to save more for retirement on a tax-advantaged basis. Depending on the type of retirement plan you establish, and your earned income, you could put aside as much as $40,000 per year-for a hefty tax deduction and a great start toward your retirement security. Making Investment ChoicesIf you’re investing for your business or personal needs, you’ve won half the battle. But it isn’t enough to put money aside-it needs to be invested in a way consistent with your goals.As a business owner, you may have too much on your plate to worry about making day-to-day investment decisions. That’s why many business owners rely on a specialist in financial matters, just as they rely on specialists for other areas of their business, like attorneys and accountants. A financial advisor can help you make decisions that may affect the future of your business and your retirement, such as:o Where should your business assets be invested? The answer will depend on what the money is for-do you need to keep it liquid to cover payables? Or are you investing for longer-term goals like expansion, acquisition or purchasing property?o What type of retirement plan should you establish? There are many options for business owners, depending on whether or not you have employees, how much you wish to contribute, and other variables.o Where should your retirement funds be invested? Finding the right asset mix for your retirement investments involves numerous factors, including your age, your risk tolerance (your willingness to risk losing money in order to gain potentially higher returns), and your other sources of retirement income.Owning a successful business is a great accomplishment. Making sure that you invest the proceeds from your business successfully is equally important.In addition to consulting a financial advisor, you should also talk to your attorney, accountant or other advisor concerning any questions you may have about your particular situation.* Center for Women’s Business Research (formerly National Foundation for Women Business Owners). “Key Facts 2002.” http://www.nfwbo.org/key/html** US Department of Labor. “Saving Matters-Retirement and Savings Education,” updated 11/01 cited in http://www.dol.gov/pwba/pubs GE-24756 (9/02)(exp 9/04)Jeffrey Apps & Tracy Tutag offer securities and investment advisory services through AXA Advisors, LLC (member NASD, SIPC) 1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 212-314-4600 and offers annuity and insurance products through an insurance brokerage affiliate, AXA Network, LLC and its subsidiaries. They can be reached at 926.0601 or tracy.tutag@axa-advisors.comVail, Colorado

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